St. Maarten medical students currently specializing to return in time for new hospital opening
St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) continued their ongoing recruitment drive when they recently attended the “Care Caribbean” event in Holland with the aim to recruit St. Maarten students currently engaged in their medical studies abroad.
The Care Caribbean event seeks to better connect Dutch Caribbean health care institutions and medical students/young health care professionals from the Dutch Caribbean currently residing in Holland. The event was well attended by both groups and SMMC also was featured as one of key note speakers with Dr. Felix Holiday, SMMC’s Medical Director, delivering the presentation.
Dr. Holiday’s presentation mainly focused on the existing corporation between the Dutch Caribbean islands and the tremendous support that St. Maarten received from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Holland post Irma. Dr. Holiday specifically addressed the young medical professionals present and invited them to “come back home”. As a follow up goal of this event, SMMC will keep expanding its network of medical / health care students from St. Maarten to ensure a higher percentage return home after graduation.
The SMMC delegation, consisting of Dr. Felix Holiday and Hester Versleyen who is responsible for SMMC’s strategic partnerships and recruitment of medical specialists, met with several medical students hailing from St. Maarten such as Destiny Gibbes, Tishelle Daniel, Naeem Juliana, Kim Verschueren and Shacara Blake among others. Discussed with the students was their medical field of specialization so that they can fill up critical vacancies at SMMC - some due to current specialists set to retire in the coming years - in time for when the new hospital opens up.
Medical Doctor and Psychiatry student Naeem Juliana said: “The highlight of the event for me, was hearing Dr. Holiday’s speech. He combined an honest assessment of the island’s challenges with an optimistic look at our future. It created an atmosphere of excited curiosity in the room, and I hope that can materialize into many young Antillean doctors coming to St. Maarten in the future”.
According to Medical Doctor Tishelle Daniel: “Speaking to representatives of SMMC felt reassuring, because I now have the feeling that 'home' is waiting for me. Although I have thought about my future at SMMC when I was interning there, discussing the opportunities now as a medical professional felt surreal”.
Medical Doctor Kim Verschueren stated: “It was great being surrounded by fellow St. Maarteners with similar ambitions wanting to contribute to the health care system of our island (from a distance), and that actually felt possible. Getting together, exchanging ideas and creating possibilities with fellow St. Maarteners, keeps us engaged and encourages us to get through our specializations, gain experience and return to the island someday”.
St. Maarten medical students and young professionals abroad (and on St. Maarten) are encouraged to get in contact with SMMC in order for them to be kept abreast of any current and future vacancies. As SMMC transitions to the St. Maarten General Hospital with the aim to provide ‘quality care, close to home’, a total of 100 additional Full Time Employees (FTE’s) will be needed over the next 3 years. Interested persons can send their resume and motivation letter to HR@smmc.sx